Precedence is set to return to racing in the 2014 Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on Saturday, but trainer James Cummings does not believe that the veteran stayer is a winning chance in the Group 2 event.
Precedence has not been seen at the races since the end of his successful 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, which was highlighted by wins in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m), and Cummings told Sky Racing HQ that he is happy with the Zabeel gelding ahead of his 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign.
“He is first-up in the Hollindale on Saturday,” Cummings said.
“The ultimate goal would be the Brisbane Cup and he followed that sort of path last year where he won the Premier’s in the lead-up to the Brisbane Cup.
“The horse has looked really well and I think that this is going to be a nice short preparation for him before he aims up at the spring again in the next few months.”
Precedence has recorded just one placing from 11 first-up starts and Cummings admits that the eight-year-old is likely to be outpaced by his rivals in the 2014 Hollindale Stakes this weekend.
Cummings confirmed that Precedence will run in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) following the Hollindale Stakes this weekend and the rising trainer expects the tough stayer to be far more competitive when he steps-up in trip.
“He is going to have to be waiting for a mile and a half before he is a winning chance, but it would be nice to see him poking home first-up,” Cummings said.
“With the speed on, the Gold Coast will suit him first-up and he will have a really good blow out.
“Perhaps he is a rough place chance, but I think against that opposition will be a bit too sharp for him.
“He will go second-up into a race with a bit of distance, hopefully the Premier’s Cup if he doesn’t get too much weight, and I think he will be very competitive there again this year.”
Precedence will be having just his third start in Queensland after winning the Premier’s Cup and finishing ninth in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) during last year’s winter carnival.
Precedence is currently available at 2014 Hollindale Stakes odds of $15; with Junoob ($2.25) a clear favourite from Streama ($4.80), Moriarty ($5.50) and Angel Of Mercy ($6.50).